Plug-In Electric Vehicles

Overview:

Is a Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) in your future? If so, the staff of Sawnee EMC has developed this site to give you some insight into the items you need to consider.

Three (3) Steps to Get Ready:

There are several things to consider when evaluating the purchase and use of a PEV, such as:

  • How will a PEV impact my electric bill?
  • Should the charging station be a Level I or Level II?
  • What is the best time of day to charge my PEV?


Sawnee EMC has been gathering information on these issues and we are here to help answer your questions and get you "plug-in ready".

So, before you start, please tell us about your PEV plans by completing this short survey checklist (pdf 3MB).

There are three (3) steps that we feel you need to undertake to be ready for your new PEV.

STEP 1: Complete Sawnee EMCs 'Getting Plug-In Ready Checklist'

When you have completed our PEV checklist, please return the form to us by email (marketing@sawnee.com) or by fax (678-513-8106) or simply call (770-887-2363) to discuss your PEV plans with a representative of our Member Services staff.

STEP 2: Contact Sawnee EMC to Discuss Rate Options

Selecting the appropriate SEMC retail rate option to charge your PEV is a very important decision. Please be sure to complete the following (2) steps to ensure that you make the decisions that are right for your lifestyle and your budget.

Contact SEMC to discuss your vehicle choice and your plans for PEV charging (e.g., "when" and "where").

Explore Sawnee EMCs retail rate options with a representative of SEMC's Member Services staff (You have four (4) retail rate options to choose from).

PEV Rate Option Scorecard

STEP 3: Perform Any Necessary Home Equipment Upgrades

Getting your home's electrical infrastructure ready for your PEV charging station is important as well. Below are two (2) points to remember before your PEV arrives at your home.

Select a qualified electrical contractor and decide who will obtain any necessary permits and complete this work.

Obtain any required city and /or county electrical / building inspections.
Note: You should be ready to charge your PEV once the following items are complete: 1) the city / county has approved all construction / electrical work (if applicable); 2) your charging station is operational; and 3) SEMC has completed any necessary distribution system upgrades.

Retail Rate Plan Options

You should take into consideration that the purchase of a PEV means that your overall monthly household electricity consumption and your SEMC electric bill will soon change.

Sawnee EMC currently offers four (4) residential retail rates that can be used when charging a PEV at your home. Commercial customers should contact Sawnee EMC's Member Services staff (770-887-2363) to discuss the various options that exist for commercial applications used in charging PEV's.

Our Member Services staff is available to help you weigh your options and assist you in deciding which SEMC retail rate is best for you.

The current SEMC retail rates for residential PEV charging are as follows:

Residential Service Rate (Schedule H-18). This is SEMC's standard residential rate plan and the price per kilowatt-hour is tiered and changes as the amount of energy usage, over certain thresholds, increases. Unless you have specifically selected a different retail rate option at your home, you are probably on SEMC's standard residential rate at this time. Remaining on this retail rate is the simplest choice, but it may not be the most cost-effective choice for you to charge your PEV given "how" you use electricity in your home and "how" you plan to charge your PEV.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle Rate (Schedule PEV-3). This retail rate option requires that your PEV electrical service be "metered separately" and that the energy must only be used for the purpose of charging a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV). This retail rate option utilizes "off-peak" and "on-peak" energy rates. This retail rate option may be ideal for customers who plan to charge their plug-in electric vehicle during the "off-peak" periods, which is defined in this rate as being between 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Monday - Friday as well as all day Saturday and Sunday. Since this retail rate requires for such electrical service to be "metered separately", this retail rate may not be the overall most cost-effective choice for you.

Residential Time-of-Use Rate (TU-22). This retail rate option uses a tiered structure, similar to the plug-in electric vehicle retail rate described above, and provides for electricity rates for "off-peak" as well as "on-peak" energy usage. It should be noted that this rate is also applicable to the energy used in your whole house - e.g. no separate meter required. Managing the off-peak usage when many plug-in electric vehicle owners are most likely to be charging their PEV will require some involvement on your behalf. This SEMC retail rate schedule (TU) may be ideal for customers who have an overall whole house low energy usage during "peak" daytime hours of 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. However, this SEMC retail rate may not be the most cost-effective choice for you depending on "how" you use electricity in your home and "how" you plan to charge your PEV.

Critical Peak Pricing-Residential (CPPR-7). This retail rate is similar to the Residential Time-of-Use rate but is much more costly during certain limited times of the year (e.g. summer peak hours). It is however, the lowest cost alternative for PEV charging given that it generally occurs during traditional "off-peak" or "nighttime" hours. This option potentially gives customers the lowest SEMC retail rates for electric vehicle charging but also involves more initial set-up cost and time. This retail rate, like the other SEMC retail rates described above, may not be the most overall cost-effective choice for you depending on "how" you use electricity in your home and "how" you plan to charge your PEV.

The key is to select a SEMC retail rate that is right for your home's usage when you are not charging your PEV as well as when you are charging your PEV.

Charging Requirements Overview

Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVs) are powered by rechargeable battery packs, which use stored electricity to operate the vehicle. The battery packs can generally be charged by charging equipment specifically designed for your vehicle, in a residential setting, from two (2) types of electrical supplies: Level 1 charging equipment(120 volts) and Level 2 charging equipment (240 volts). The difference in voltage used to supply the charging stations affect the period of time required to charge the battery. Below is a brief description of the two (2) charging equipment levels traditionally used in a residential PEV setting.

Level 1 Charging Equipment

Level 1 charging is accomplished by charging equipment using a standard 120 volt, A/C outlet which is commonly found in a residential setting. PEV charging stations can generally be plugged directly into a 120 volt outlet, providing a convenient, "anytime and anywhere" power source.

Depending on the battery size and how far the vehicle was driven (e.g., how low the battery's charge), Level 1 charging typically takes between 8 to 15 hours to fully recharge the vehicle's battery.

Level 1 charging equipment requires a dedicated 15 or 20 Amp outlet in the area where the PEV will be charged.

Level 2 Charging Equipment

Level 2 charging is done using a charging station equipped to utilize a 240 volt, A/C circuit, much like that used for large electric loads in your home (e.g., electric clothes dryer, electric stove or a central HVAC system). Electrical service to a Level 2 charging station will generally require a dedicated 240 volt circuit location near the charging station, which will in turn, be near where the PEV will be charged.

Depending on the battery size and the distance the vehicle was driven, Level 2 charging equipment typically requires a charging time of between 3 to 8 hours to fully recharge a battery, or approximately one-half the time of a Level 1 charger.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind When Deciding Where to Charge Your PEV

When selecting "where" to place your charging station and charge your PEV, remember that most residential garages generally, do not have a dedicated 240 volt circuit to facilitate the faster (Level 2) charging-station. One may need to be installed as described earlier.

Also, the vehicle manufacturer may specify what "Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment" (EVSE) or "charging station" should be used with their particular vehicle, which will determine the exact equipment you should install.

Finally, if the PEV is kept outdoors, special, weather-proof electrical supply and charging equipment may be needed.

The key here is that charging is an essential component of a safe, reliable and cost-effective PEV operation and will require a great deal of thought and planning to deploy properly.

Questions About Sawnee EMC's PEV Program:

For general information or specific questions about Sawnee EMC's Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) program, please contact us at 770-887-2363 to speak with a Marketing Representative or via email to marketing@sawnee.com.